Former NBC correspondent Richard Valeriani explains rogue rant at CPI gala
The Center for Public Integrity's 20th anniversary dinner at the Newseum was wrapping up Thursday night -- after speeches, dinner, wine, yet more speeches -- when things took a lively if unexpected turn: Former NBC correspondent Richard Valeriani, now a blogger living in Connecticut, took the stage uninvited and railed against the GOP.
"I guess it was my tea party moment," he told us Monday. He said he got frustrated after listening to remarks by Rep. Darrell Issa -- an "egregious" example, Valeriani said, of "obstructionists who put party ahead of the country." The veteran newsman, now in his late 70s, delivered his impromptu diatribe (first reported by The Hill) until emcee Christiane Amanpour politely dragged him off. There were a few boos, but Valeriani said some guests came up to praise him.
The center's executive director wasn't amused. "Mr. Valeriani is entitled to his own opinion," said Bill Buzenberg. "He is not entitled to take over the platform at the end of our program to express it. We regret that he did so."
The Reliable Source
| October 26, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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